The Bible and Healthcare
by Peter Salemi
What does the Bible say about healthcare? Does the Bible allow us to visit doctors, and be healed by them. What of hospitals, and medicine? Are Christians allowed to use these things to heal our bodies?
What about healings in the Bible? Many people believe that we should just ask God for healing in prayer and God will heal us of every type of sickness and disease there is and there is no need for doctors and hospitals etc.. What does the Bible say?
The Bible is Pro-Health
First and foremost, Healthcare starts with YOU! The Bible is definitely pro-health and encourages us to take care of our bodies. Our bodies are creations of God and need to be taken care of. God is a God of work. Everything requires work! Your health, your marriage, job, upkeep of your home, car, everything requires work; If all these things were left unattended, they would fall apart. Your health requires work.
The Body is a very well ordered machine, and if the body like any other machines are not maintained, the machine begins to break down!
The Apostle Paul wrote that, "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinth 6:18-20). Clearly he is speaking about taken care of your own body and how sin can affect it.
"Fornication" the Apostle Paul told us to "flee" is sinning "against his own body." Studies have proved that having a very active sex life with multiple partners can cause all sorts of diseases like herpes, Chlamydia, HIV (manly due to anal sex) etc...Jesus himself demonstrated that sin and sickness are linked. In Matthew 9 when Jesus was about to heal someone "sick of the palsy," and he said to him, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." (9:2; see also John 5:14). Our actions cause us either to be healthy or to become sick. Sin affects your body and your mind, "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." (Prov 3:7-8). Fearing the Lord is our spiritual health-keeping his law (Eccl 12:13). The law of God is "spiritual" (Rom 7:14). When we keep the law of God our minds are at "peace" "O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:" (Isaiah 48:18), and this affects the whole body, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov 23:7). A Healthy mind translates into a healthy body.
Sex is NOT a sin. In fact the Bible says to have a very active sex life within the confines of a monogamous marriage between man and a woman (Heb 13:4). But fornication leads to sickness disease; spiritually can lead to suicidal tendencies, addiction, and to not function properly in a normal sexual relationship (Here), and eventually in a path towards hating God and loving evil.
So our bodies are our temples and we are not to "defile", "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Corinth 3:17). Sickness in the body reveals that sin exists in it, due to whatever we have done to it. This is in most cases, yes there are accidents that happen (Luke13:1-5) that can cause serious injury, or people are born with defects, like the man who was born blind. The disciples asked, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2). Jesus said, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (v.3). "What Jesus was really saying was that, rather than being seen as a punishment for sin, the man’s blindness was a natural occurrence (Eccl 9:11) that should be seen as presenting God with an opportunity to reveal His glory; not as some think, that God deliberately made the man blind for this purpose." (P. Pett Commentary, emphasis added).
God has laid down for us laws so our bodies do not become defiled by sin therefore us becoming sick. The foods we are to eat; our behavior towards others, and they way we treat ourselves, if we follow God's ways it will lead to health happiness and mental stability in our personal lives and in the lives of others.
The Bible says that we are to "Love ourselves." Jesus said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 19:19) He was quoting Leviticus 19:18. The way a person treats themselves usually is the way a person treats others. "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:" (Eph 5:29). Keeping the laws of God is the way to nourish and cherish one's own body, and treat others in the same way. Sinning against your own body reveals the hate of your own self, in turn the way a person will treat others, and the break down of society.
Leviticus 11 tells us about the clean and unclean meats we are to eat so we do not become "defiled" (Lev 11:44). "neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." We are to be "holy" A Healthy body reveals a body without sin. Eating unclean meats is a sin. Sin is breaking God's Laws (1 John 3:4), and "This is the LAW of the beasts..." (Lev 11:46). These health laws if not obeyed can lead to serous harm of your body, and eventually killing oneself which is murder and a violation of the 6th commandment!
Studies have proved that eating swine is detrimental to your health. (here). Whether it's the retroviruses, the parasite tapeworms, the flu viruses, the histamine increasing compounds, or any of the other toxins present in pork, you may want to consider why you would ever gamble with your health by eating pork? Now you see why God says not to eat it? "they are unclean to you." (Lev 11:8).
Shellfish, again terrible for a persons health. Fish "whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat." (Lev 11:9). The scales, it just so happens, "have a digestive system that doesn't allow poisons in the water to be absorbed into the flesh. Remember, fish actually swim in their own excretions. All living animals in the seas, lakes, rivers, and streams deposit their feces and bodily excretions into the same water they are swimming in. When you think about that for a moment it becomes a little sickening. Fish that have scales and fins, like flounder, cod, haddock, mackerel, and salmon, do not absorb the toxins in the water. Other animals of the sea that have fins but no scales, such as catfish, are generally bottom feeders, scavengers, and have digestive systems that absorb the toxins from the water." (More Natural Cures Revealed, pp.231-233, emphasis added).
Shellfish, fish without scales and fins, "Other animals in the sea such as clams, shrimp, mussels, squid, lobster, and crab have neither scales nor fins and are highly toxic. They absorb all the poisons from the water. When you think of some of these animals, such as a lobster, we realize that they are nothing more than cockroaches of the sea. Lobsters, for example, are arthropods, which is simply a large cockroach. Would you eat a cockroach? Well, why would you eat a lobster? I know, it tastes delicious! I grew up in Boston. I grew up on shellfish, lobster, clams, scallops, crab, shrimp, and calamari. I ate all of this stuff and it's delicious, especially when it's fried! However, it is highly toxic and suppresses the immune system. When blood tests are taken before and after people consume this type of shellfish we see dramatic negative effects in the body. Through the use of Kirlian photography and other techniques we see that the body's life force and energy are dramatically suppressed and reduced when eating shellfish or any fish that doesn't have scales and fins." (ibid, emphasis added).
If people just didn't eat any of these foods, their health would dramatically increase, and they would also get off the meds, cholesterol pills, blood pressure pills, and their health care bills wouldn't be so high. "Preventable illness makes up approximately 70 percent of the burden of illness and the associated costs. Well-developed national statistics such as those outlined in Healthy People 2000, Health U.S. 1991, and elsewhere document this central fact clearly" (Here).
God also says that we must not eat the fat in the meats as well, "Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat." (Lev 7:23). All the toxins in the bodies of these clean animals goes to the fat, and the fat contributes to high cholesterol, heart disease, and in many cases cancer. The creator of the Universe knows what we should eat and what we should not, and if people did this it would solve many of the health care problems that we faced today.
Exercise is also important. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For bodily exercise profiteth little:" This means, "...in their literal sense as referring to physical training in the palaestra - boxing, racing, etc." (Vincent Word Studies).
It "profiteth little" meaning, "Lit. is profitable for a little. The phrase πρὸς ὀλίγον only here and James 5:14. In the latter passage it means for a little while. Comp. Heb 12:10, πρὸς ὀλίγας ἡμέρας for a few days. According to some, this is the meaning here; but against this is the antithesis πρὸς πάντα unto all things. The meaning is rather, the use of the athlete's training extends to only a few things. Ὡφέλιμος useful or profitable, only in Pastorals. Comp. 2Tim 3:16; Titus 3:8." (ibid). Exercise profits a man in this life, and the physical body; limited to a "few things" Health and strength but temporary to this life only. Whereas the spiritual, is "but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." The spiritual profits us now and in the life to come, bodily exercise profits us in this life only! So exercise is essential to one's health and can definitely be a part of a Christian’s physical fitness program.
Today, what do doctors tell all their patients that God has been saying for centuries? "Diet and exercise is the key to good health." Doing this, you will "glorify God in your body" by keeping your body in good physical condition. The Apostle John wrote, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (3 John 1:2).
However, as with many things in this life, bodybuilding, if taken to the extreme, can become an idol. Eventually, a point is reached where there is no true value in adding more muscle. Bodybuilding/weightlifting can become an addiction and/or obsession. While this is much more often an issue with men, it can be an issue for women as well. Striving for bigger and stronger muscles, taken to the extreme, is nothing but vanity (1 Samuel 16:7; Ecclesiastes 1:2; 1 Peter 3:3-4). Once we allow our physical appearance to become more important than our relationship with God, it has become an idol (1 John 5:21). The above scriptures are not condemning looking presentable and healthy, Looking presentable and health is fine; Order and beauty is in God's creation, but taking it to a point of obsession and idolatry is vanity. Instead "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do [including exercise], do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinth 10:31).
There are many verses that speak of using “medical treatments” such as applying bandages (Isaiah 1:6), oil (James 5:14), oil and wine (Luke 10:34), leaves (Ezekiel 47:12), wine (1 Timothy 5:23), and salves, particularly the “balm of Gilead” (Jeremiah 8:22). Plasters or poultices (2Kings 20:7), oil-baths, mineral baths (Josephus, Ant. 17:6, 5; Life, 16; War, 1:33, 5; 2:21, 6; comp. John 5:2). Quarantine was used by the Israelites (Lev 13:4, 46). Internal nostrums are again and again recommended in the Talmud (see the Mishna, Sabb. 14:3; 22:6; Joma, 8:6); in the Old Testament honey is mentioned (Prov 16:24) as healthy to the body, which still holds a conspicuous place among medical compounds in the East. Specimens of the Jewish prescriptions may be seen in Lightfoot on Mark 5:26 (the formula or "Recipe" is לייתי). Surgical operations are mentioned in the Mishna (Sabb. 22:6; Chelim, 12:4; comp. Sabb. 6:5). There is no reason to believe that we shouldn’t use whatever methods are at our disposal to improve or correct our health.
Some churches teach however that Christians should not go to the doctor, and that God is the great physician that we should go to for healing. Yes that is true that we should go to God for healing. One prescription God has given us are the food laws and exercise that he has prescribed in the Bible (above). Many people think that since God is the great physician that they can live any way they want to then when they are sick come to God for healing, it doesn't work that way! Even doctors tell their patients to change their life styles, eat certain foods and exercise. Why is it different with God?
Healings in the Bible
Jesus said, "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments." God will answer prayers for healing-IF we keep his commandments! When does God heal? In what situation does God heal? Will he heal the common cold? A paper cut? No! Most of the healings in the Bible occur when the situation is beyond the ability for man to heal.
Notice what God says, "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee...And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee." (Ex 15:26; 23:25). You see, God says keep his laws, and God will heal us! His laws are designed to keep us healthy, and so if we obey them continually, when a disease does occur, like the diseases in Egypt he will heal us; and what were those diseases? these were diseases that were beyond the ability for man to control. "The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed." (Deut 28:27). It is these diseases that God will heal. The black death of the Medieval ages would be a good example as well. Remember Jesus said, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." (Matt 19:26). So beyond what man can control, God will heal.
Several examples are:
The man born blind (John 9)
The woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, (Luke 8:43)
The widows son in Elijah's day (1 Kings 17:17-24)
Shunammite's son raised (2 Kings 4:32-37)
Naaman cured of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:10-14)
Elisha's bones revive the dead (2 Kings 13:21)
Men with leprosy came to Jesus (Mark 1:40-41; Luke 17:11-19).
Exorcised Demons (Luke 6:18; Mark 1:21-27; John 4:31-36; Matthew 8:16; Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 9:32-34; Matthew 15:21-28; 17:14-20; 12:22)
Jesus raised the dead (Matthew 9:18-26; John 11; Luke 7:11-17)
Jesus heals an officials son "for he was at the point of death." (John 4:47)
Peter's Mother-in law had a "great fever" (Luke 4:38). Matthew 8:14 says "he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever" Bullinger says, ".laid -laid out for death. A Hebraism." She had a fever to the point of death.
Jesus heals centurion's servant who was "was sick, and ready to die." (Luke 7:2). He was "sick of the palsy, grievously tormented." (Matthew 8:6)
Jesus Heals a Paralytic Who Was Let Down From the Roof (Matthew 9:1-8)
Jesus Heals a Man's Withered Hand on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9-14)
Healed the blind (Matthew 9:27-31; John 9; Mark 8:22-26; Matthew 20:29-31-34)
Jesus Heals an Invalid at Bethesda who suffered 38 years (John 5:1-15).
Jesus Heals a Deaf and Dumb Man (Mark 7:31-37)
Jesus Heals a Woman Who Had an infirmity for 18 Years (Luke 13:10-17)
Jesus Heals a Man With Dropsy on the Sabbath (Luke 14:1-6). The dropsy - A disease produced by the accumulation of water in various parts of the body; very distressing, and commonly incurable." (Barnes's Notes)
Jesus Heals a Servant's Severed Ear While He Is Being Arrested (Luke 22:50-51)
Peter heals a man who had been lame his entire life (Acts 3:1-10)
The Apostles healed the lame and demon possessed (Acts 5:12-16)
Paul resurrecting a man from the dead (Acts 20:7-12)
Philip Exorcising demons healing the lame (Acts 8:7)
The Apostle Paul healing diseases and exorcising demons (Acts 19:12)
The father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux and Paul heals him (Acts 28:8)
Notice the miracles of healing? These were all sickness beyond the point of medicines and doctors to heal. Paul raised the dead yet told Timothy, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (1 Tim 5:23). Why encourage a medicine for frequent ailments if they had the power to heal? There were those in the church that had the "gift of healings" plural. "(the plural 'healings' apparently refers to the variety of ailments that were cured)" (ISBE under "Healing gift of") This could mean by miracles from God or by medicines that clearly the church was using at the time. The apostles healed people, by miracles and by medicines. Luke was a physician! (Col 4:14)
As mentioned above Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts was a physician (Col 4:14). Physicians were used by the Israelites. Joseph used "physicians" to embalm his father Israel (Gen 50:2). The practice of midwives in childbirth was used (Ex 1:16). King Joram went to Jezreel to be healed of his wounds (2 Kings 9:15).The story of a woman who had trouble with continual bleeding, a problem that physicians could not heal even though she had been to many of them and had spent all of her money (Mark 5:25-30). Jesus called himself a "physician" for the sick (Matthew 9:12). Medical practitioners were in the smaller cities of the land of Israel (Josephus, Life, 72; comp. Ant. 14:13, 10). The Bible shows that we must maintain our health by eating and exercising, and seeing a doctor for a check up is part of the maintenance to your health.
There are some Christians who believe that seeking medical attention is demonstrating a lack of faith in God and consulting a doctor will actually prevent God from healing you. This is mainly due to this scripture in 2 Chronicles 16:12 that says, "And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians." First of all, Notice-there are physicians in Israel!
Secondly, the scripture says that, "his disease was exceeding great:" As noted above, God heals those diseases that are beyond the capability of man to cure, yet he "sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians." He insisted that the physicians heal him of the incurable disease and not go to God himself; this was due to his stubbornness. It has nothing to do to whether a person should go see a doctor; rather it is demonstrating a persons stubbornness and hard heartedness towards God. The K&D Commentary states, "Consequently it is not the mere inquiring of the physicians which is here censured, but only the godless manner in which Asa trusted in the physicians." (emphasis added).
From these verses above one might sift out the following principles:
Physicians are not God and should not be viewed as such. They can help to remedy illnesses, but there will be other times when all they will accomplish is the removal of money as in the case of the woman in Jesus' day. Today our health care system has exposed this very problem. Find a good doctor who wants to heal you; not have you come back continually just to take your money.
Seeking physicians and using “earthly” remedies are not condemned in Scripture. In fact, medical treatments are viewed favorably.
God's intervention in any physical difficulty should be sought (James 4:2; 5:13). But God does heal when it is beyond our capability to do so.
So, should Christians go to doctors? God created us as intelligent beings and gave us the ability to create medicines and learn how to repair our bodies. There is nothing wrong with applying this knowledge and ability towards physical healing. Doctors can be viewed as God’s gift to us, a means through which God brings healing and recovery. We must not ignore the body’s health. Healthcare, in whatever form it takes, is biblical and important, as well. Christians should be involved with preventative healthcare and make plans to deal with injuries and illnesses before they occur.
Jesus Christ told his disciples to "heal" people (Luke 9:2; 10:9). As we have seen in scripture the Apostles used prayer for God to heal, but also medicines. One finds in history due to Jesus and his example he set for us, that Hospitals were invented by the Christian community. Jesus said, "I was sick, and ye visited me...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. " (Matthew 25:36, 45). These words did not go unheeded. The New Testament writers look upon Jesus as a healer, the Great Physician, "I AM YAHWEH THAT HEALS YOU!" (Ex 15:26).
During the time of the Roman Empire, there was a "colossal void with respect to caring for the sick and dying...Dionysius, a Christian bishop of the third century, described the existing behavior of the pagans toward their fellow sick human beings in an Alexandrian plague in about A.D. 250. The pagans, he said, 'thrust aside anyone who began to be sick, and kept aloof even from their dearest friends, and cast the sufferers out upon tile public roads half dead, and left them unburied, and treated them with utter contempt when they died' (Works of Dionysius, Epistle 12.5). How different from the behavior of the Christians! Dionysius tells us that the Christians, when it came to caring for the sick and dying, ignored the danger to themselves:
'[V]ery many of our brethren, while in their exceeding love and brotherly kindness, did not spare themselves, but kept by each other, and visited the sick without thought of their own peril, and ministered to them assiduously and treated them for their healing in Christ, died from time to time most joyfully ... drawing upon themselves their neighbors diseases and willingly taking over to their own persons the burden of the sufferings of those around them' (Works of Dionysius 12.4).
"[The] Lack of humanitarian behavior on the part of the Romans regarding the sick, in contrast with Christian compassion, was lamented by the pagan emperor, Julian, who ruled from 361 to 363. The contrast is also noted by modern historians. 'When epidemics broke out,' says Howard Haggard, the Romans 'often fled in fear and left the sick to die without care.' Haggard further notes that the Romans saw helping a sick person as a sign of human weakness; whereas Christians, in light of what Jesus taught about helping the sick, believed they were not only serving the sick but also serving God. Thus, Christianity filled the pagan void that largely ignored the sick and dying, especially during pestilences. In so doing, it 'established the principle that to help the sick and needy is a sign of strength not weakness.''' (Under the Influence, by Alvin J. Schmidt, pp.152-153, emphasis mine and his).
Due to this lack of compassion from the pagan world, the Christians following what Christ said, then, "[since] there were no established medical institutions (hospitals) for nursing and ministering to the general populace...Charity hospitals for the poor and indigent public did not exist until Christianity introduced them." (ibid, p.154, emphasis added) After Christian persecutions were over, "...after the Edict of Milan in 313, and especially after Constantine defeated his co-emperor Licinius in the East in 324, Christians were able to direct more attention and clergy toward providing care for the sick and dying. Hence, the first ecumenical council of the Christian church at Nicaea in 325 directed bishops to establish a hospice in every city that had a cathedral.'..Although their most important function was to nurse and heal the sick, they also provided shelter for the poor and lodging for Christian pilgrims. These hospitals, known as xenodochia'" (xenns = stranger + dechesthai = to receive) were prompted by Christ's command to care for the physically sick and by the early apostolic admonition that Christians be hospitable to strangers and travelers." (ibid, p.154, emphasis theirs and mine)
Eventually the first hospital was built, "...by St. Basil in Caesarea in Cappadocia about A.D. 369. It was one of a large number of buildings, with houses for physicians and nurses, workshops, and industrial schools...The rehabilitation unit and workshops gave those with no occupational skills opportunity to learn a trade while recuperating. These units reveal additional humanitarian awareness...After St. Basil's hospital was built in the East and another in Edessa in 375, Fabiola, a wealthy widow and an associate of St. Jerome, built the first hospital in the West, a nosocomium, in the city of Rome in about 390. According to Jerome, Fabiola donated all of her wealth (which was considerable) to construct this hospital, to which she brought the sick from off the streets in Rome (Letter to Oceanus 5). In 398, Fabiola, together with Pammachius, founded another hospital in Ostia, about fifty miles southwest of Rome. Although the nosocomium differed from the xenodochium, essentially all the hospitals were called xenodochia until the twelfth century, when 'hospitale' became the common term.
"The building of Christian hospitals continued. St. Chrysostom (d. 407), the patriarch of the Eastern church, had hospitals built in Constantinople in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, and St. Augustine (354-430), bishop of Hippo in northern Africa, was instrumental in adding hospitals in the West. By the sixth century, hospitals also had become a common part of monasteries. Hence, by the middle of the sixth century in most of Christendom, in the East and the West, 'hospitals were securely, established.' Also in the sixth century, hospitals received an additional boost when the Council of Orleans (France) passed canons assuring their protection, and in the last quarter of this same century, Pope Gregory the Great did much to advance the importance of hospitals.
"It is important to note-and the evidence is quite decisive-that these Christian hospitals were the world's first voluntary charitable institutions. There is 'no certain evidence' says one scholar, 'of any medical institution supported by voluntary contributions... till we come to Christian days.' And it is these Christian hospitals that revolutionized the treatment of the poor, the sick, and the dying.
"By 750 the growth of Christian hospitals, either as separate units or attached to monasteries, had spread from Continental Europe to England. About this time the city of Milan in Italy established a hospital that specialized in caring for foundlings. During his reign in the eighth century Charlemagne, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and a strong defender of the sick and poor, constructed numerous hospitals. And by the year 1100 there were 37,000 Benedictine monasteries that cared for the sick." (ibid, pp.157-158, emphasis mine and his). Even the crusaders "founded health care orders" providing health care for the sick. This continued on in the new world and our modern day today. This was done all due to people obeying what Christ said to take care of the sick and heal them. If more people did this, this world would look a lot different that what we see today.
Mental Institutions as well are a product of Christians modeling themselves after Jesus who cured the "Lunatics" and they became sane, in their "right mind" (Mark 5:15). The early Christian church, "took charge of lunatics at a very early period" (ibid, p.160). The spiritual condition of the human being was just as important as the physical, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: (Prov 23:7). Mental stability translates into ones physical performance. The mind and the body work as one, and if one does not function well, the other suffers, "For as the body without the spirit [mind] is dead" (James 2:26). Stress alone can cause many risks to one's physical condition, of high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, weight problems, digestive problems, lack of sleep, and the list goes on. A stable and peaceful mind translates into a healthy body.
Health and Health Care insurance
Approaches to healthcare vary, and believers have freedom regarding the healthcare options they pursue. Some people have their healthcare plans covered by their employer. Others choose to visit holistic doctors not covered by insurance. Some people focus only on catastrophic care, making sure that major medical expenses do not lead to bankruptcy. Many Christians choose to participate in care cooperatives or medical cost-sharing programs where money is pooled and then given out when a need arises in one of the members. All of these are valid options for healthcare. The goal is to keep the body fit, as much as possible, in order to better serve and glorify the Lord so health care insurance, or if you live in a country like Canada and have universal health care, is all to better your health and well being which is what God wants for us, and there is no reason to believe that we shouldn’t use whatever methods are at our disposal to improve or correct our health. Neither is there any biblical mandate against participating in healthcare insurance plans.
It is wise to plan for the future (Proverbs 6:6–8). “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12). This wisdom can be applied to healthcare. Preventative healthy habits such as eating and sleeping well, drinking enough water, and doing regular exercise will steadily improve any person’s health and give him the strength to do whatever God has given him to do, be it caring for a child, writing a book, or running a company (You don't have your health you don't have anything). But if we lack wisdom and let our bodies fall into disrepair, we risk sudden sickness or injury that can quickly take us out of commission. Healthcare is about caring for your body, your mind, and your emotions—the whole person—so you can reach your maximum ability, whatever that is.
We must not ignore the body’s health. Healthcare, in whatever form it takes, is biblical and important. Christians should be involved with preventative healthcare and make plans to deal with injuries and illnesses before they occur.
Does God heal in this modern age? Yes he does! But there are factors involved!
70% of illness can be preventable by just following the diet and exercise God prescribes in his Bible. There's healing by God himself through his word, just follow the guidelines.
But what of people in the hospitals suffering from cancer, STD's etc...Can God heal them? Yes! But, these illnesses were all preventable-these were all due to lifestyle choices in most cases.
Sin and sickness are linked as Christ demonstrated in Matthew 9th chapter. Christ said when he healed the man, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." (Matthew 9:2). God can heal you, but what is required on your part to be forgiven i.e. Healed? Repentance!
"Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
"And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4). Christ knows the hearts of people, (Matthew 9:4; Rev 2:23). He knew that this man had repentance in his heart and Jesus said to him, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." (Matthew 9:2). Could this be the main reason why most people do not get an answer to prayer when it comes to healing? God knows that after healing, these people will continue to be hostile towards God, and unappreciative of his grace. Jesus said after a healing, "Behold, thou art made whole [physically and spiritually-repentance] : sin no more [continue to keep God's law], lest a worse thing come unto thee [due to going back to a sinful lifestyle]." (John 5:14).
Another is a lack of faith. Jesus is always willing to heal, God wants and will answer the prayers of people, the problem is with US, not God! One person sought Christ for healing, and Jesus told the person, "Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." (Luke 17:19). God is always willing, we are the problem. Jesus in certain places could not perform many miracles due to the fact that the people lacked faith. (Mark 6:5-6).
What of people born with certain deformities, or are crippled due to accidents and disease? God can heal them if it be his will (1 John 5:14). All healings are performed according to his will. Sometimes God will leave a person is his or her current condition for a special purpose. Notice the experience of the apostle Paul; He had a “thorn in his flesh” He related how he had asked God to remove this affliction: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations [referring to the vision he had seen of heaven], there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness’ ” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).There are many people whose strength is made perfect through weakness. Paraplegics, who spend their entire lives in motorized wheelchairs, can make those of us who have normal use of our limbs shrink in stature spiritually, when we see their courage and their faith. There are innumerable examples of incredibly courageous people who have found seemingly bottomless reservoirs of strength in terrible adversity. After knowing God’s will was different from his own, Paul meekly said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong!” (2 Corinthians 12: 10). "Thy will be done," not ours, God knows how to use a person in whatever situation they are in to use as an example of the power of God. And sometimes, yes, God says no! And he has his reasons! The truth is that our Father has a plan for us, even in sickness or death. Many Christians' illnesses, disabilities, and even deaths have led to hymns, books, speeches, movies, and they have been a great witness to the world because they understood what it was to suffer and still trust God. The Apostle Paul himself apparently suffered eye trouble as a way to keep him humble after being granted incredible revelations (Gal 4:13, 15; 6:11).
God DOES heal, but it is ultimately according to His Will, not ours. (In the same way that God chose to release the Apostles from prison at times, yet ultimately allowed most of them to be martyred.) God is not like a trained dog who performs on command which honestly some false prophets teach. God is a living God, that makes decisions according to the situation at hand, but we do know that God is perfect and has our best interest in mind.
1) What of Blood Transfusions? Everyone knows that Jehovah Witnesses refuse to get blood transfusions. They quote Leviticus 7:27, "Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people." (see also Lev 3:17; Gen 9:4). Blood carries all sorts of pathogens in it and can cause sickness and disease and might even lead to death due to drinking or eating it orally, therefore God forbid eating anything with blood in it and certainly drinking (same as eating) blood is forbidden as it is written “None of you may eat blood, nor may any foreigner residing among you eat blood” (Lev 17:12)
Does this however mean blood transfusions?
It should be noted that it was the eating/drinking of blood that was forbidden. These ancient passages have nothing whatever to do with the modern medical practice of transfusing blood to sustain physical life. There is a vast difference between drinking blood and receiving a blood transfusion.
Similarly in the New Testament, instructions are given which exhort Christians to abstain from blood (Acts 15:20,29). In this instance, the allusion is to pagan, ritualistic ceremonies in which blood would be drunk. There is no relationship between those ancient practices and modern, life-saving medical techniques. One of the greatest uses of donated blood is for children who are going through cancer treatments because without a blood transfusion, many of these children would die,
If fact, in Medieval times, Bloodletting was the common practice for people who were sickened with undiagnosed illnesses or disease. Unfortunately, many died from this process. It reached its peak in Europe in the 19th century but subsequently declined and today in Western medicine is used only for a few select conditions. In many cases, leeches were used: “The withdrawal of so much blood as to induce fainting was considered beneficial, and many sessions would only end when the patient began to swoon.” (Bloodletting on www.wikipedia.com) “Leeches became especially popular in the early nineteenth century. In the 1830s, the French imported about forty million leeches a year for medical purposes, and in the next decade, England imported six million leeches a year from France alone. Through the early decades of the century, hundreds of millions of leeches were used by physicians throughout Europe (Childbed Fever: A scientific biography of Ignaz Semmelweis, by Codell K. & Barbara R. Carter, 2005).
Then they started to realize that "For the life of the flesh is in the blood:" (Lev 17:11). The more blood being let out of the person the weaker they became because the life of the flesh is in the blood. Thereafter, doctors replaced lost blood with blood of other humans, instead of letting the blood out and it saved lives. It was in the year 1900, that a German scientist, Dr. Karl Lansteiner, discovered that there are four types of human blood namely, A, B, AB and O. This unlocked the door to successful blood transfusions, for it was learned that if blood from a donor of one of these groups, was given to a patient of the same group, no harm could be done. Thereafter, many blood transfusions were made and many lives were saved. There is nothing in principle or in Scripture that forbids a person from donating blood. On the contrary, we are commanded to “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. ” (Prov 3:27).
So in reality Jehovah's witnesses are breaking the law of God (Lev 17:11), not keeping it!
2) Does the Bible condemn the use of medicines? Some people quote the book of Revelation 9:21; 18:23; 21:8; & Gal 5:20 of God condemning Babylon the Great and the world of her "sorceries." The Greek word is "pharmakeia" (Strong's #5331). It comes from the word "pharmakeus" (Strong's #5532), which means, "From φάρμακον pharmakon (a drug, that is, spell giving potion); a druggist ('pharmacist') or poisoner," Many believe that since God condemns it, we should not take medicines. But as shown above, medicines were used by Israel and the church. Is God condemning the use of medicines? Absolutely Not! The Bible says he has given, "herb for the service of man" (Psalm 104:14). Ezekiel says, that, "the leaf thereof for medicine." (47:12). Drugs were made from herbs and leaves during the time of the prophets and Apostles.
Thos author writes, "Purification rites, of the Old Testament, reveal to us many important drugs and herbs used by the Israelites for these rites. Myrrh (Commifora myrrha), Garlic (Allium sativum) were both employed for cleansing purposes in ancient times. Even as late as World War I, garlic paste was applied to wounds to protect the wounded from infection. The Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum, Genesis 30:14-16 and Song of Solomon 7:13), was used as an emetic, purgative and as a narcotic. Balm (Pistacia lentiscus, Genesis 43:11) was used as an astringent and for other purposes. Rue (Ruta chalepensisvar. latifolia Luke 11:42), was valued as a tithe, because it was also valuable as a "preventive of contagion and an antiseptic" (Moldenke, page 208). These several examples of natural herbs, reveal that it is probable that the ancient Israelites may have employed every herb and medicine which they could acquire to make their lives more comfortable and safer. Many of these ancient plants and herbs have provided modern chemists the raw materials for making synthetic alternatives, and have thus been the sources for many life saving and enhancement drugs." (Drugs and the Christian; A Biblical Perspective, by Gary Dykes, p.7, emphasis added)
In fact, if you notice, in the Strong's it says in both entries, "that is, (by extension) a magician: - sorcerer." (emphasis added). This is clearly what God condemns, sorceries, not the drugs. Albert Barnes explains it clearly, "The word rendered 'sorceries' - φαρμακεία pharmakeia - whence our word 'pharmacy,' means properly 'the preparing and giving of medicine,' Eng. 'pharmacy"' (Robinson’s Lexicon). He adds, "...the persons who practiced medicine, in order to give themselves and their art greater importance, practiced various arts of incantation, the word came to be connected with the idea of magic sorcery, or enchantment. See Schleusner, Lexicon." (emphasis added)
There is a twofold meaning to this word. The primary meaning, which, "In the New Testament the word is never used in a good sense, as denoting the preparation of medicine, but always in this secondary sense, as denoting sorcery, magic, etc. Thus, in Gal 5:20, 'the works of the flesh - idolatry, witchcraft,' etc. Rev 9:21, 'of their sorceries.' Rev 18:23, 'for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.' Rev 21:8, 'Whoremongers, and sorcerers.' The word does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament; and the meaning of the word would be fulfilled in anything that purposed to accomplish an object by sorcery, by magical arts, by trick, by cunning, by sleight of hand, or 'by deceiving the senses in any way.' Thus, it would be applicable to all jugglery and to all pretended miracles." (Barnes Notes, emphasis added). The main goal for Drugs used by the pagans was to be used in pagan worship to hallucinate and to try to get in touch with evil spirits. Or to deceive people into thinking they had magical powers. Not the primary meaning of a "pharmakeus" which was helping people, and cure them of their illness; not a single one of these places do we see anybody practicing medicine, science, treating illnesses, healing or strengthening the body, supplementing nutrition, neutralizing a virus or anything else that proponents of this doctrine seek to condemn. Nowhere in the Bible was the word “pharmakeia” used to describe anything similar to what the word “pharmaceuticals” describes today. The primary meaning of the word, "preparing and giving of medicine" is basically what pharmacology is all about today.